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Änglagård is arguably the most influential progressive rock band to originate from Sweden during their brief trajectory. From 1992-1996, the members of the band brought a unique, intense and overwhelming experience to their fans, filled not only with captivating melodies but also rich layers of musicianship and harmony.

The band was formed in 1991 in Gothenburg, Sweden by three music students of the local College of Music and Drama; Thomas Johnson, Tord Lundström and Mattias Olsson. Although the three members had all studied classical music and been members of orchestras that had performed in international festivals, at school they found themselves exposed to rock, jazz, and blues as well as prog and classical music styles.

The members had already been playing together for a while before they conceived the idea of Änglagård. With their vision of creating challenging music which drew influences from a mix of different genres, they soon found themselves invited to take part in various musical projects.

The resulting band featured maybe the most talented personnel ever in Swedish progressive rock. Thomas Johnson played violin, keyboards, bass and mandolin, Tord Lundström was the vocalist, with guitars and flute, and Mattias Olsson was on drums. From 1992 to Existence (1995), Änglagård would use a cellist, Maria Eriksson (whom would join the group at their third liveperformance) to instill an extra depth of classical reference into the band’s instrumentation.

In 1993 they released their debut album “Hybris”, (Relativity Records & Softprogressive) to a great critical success. The sound that was created on “Hybris” was a dynamic and overwhelming mix of classical, folk, and progressive music. Featuring such diverse instrumentation as flute and violin, this album achieved world-wide success and is acknowledged today as one of the greatest progressive rock releases.

During the following years they performed concerts all over Europe, culminating in the “Epilog” Mission, which showcased four newly written songs. Despite the increasing recognition of their music, the band was always considered the under-dog by respective labels who just did not seem to get how to market and promote the unique entity that was Änglagård.

In January 1996, their sophomore album “Barnet På Vägen” was released. Seemingly influenced by jazz, funk and krautrock as much as prog, this album was more accessible than Hybris, and hinted at the remarkable live capabilities of the band.

But it did not stop there. In May 1996, Änglagård released two ep’s on different labels; “Burlesque” on Chrome Records, and “Limits” on Musea - although predominantly instrumental, these had sublime melodic elements and is arguably the quintessential work of the band in their later years.

Unfortunately the shortcomings of their labels did not pertain to releasing the band’s work although, and their lack of creative support lead to the band to folding in 1996. The members would go on to pursue successful music careers outside of Änglagård, Marias work with F.A.V.P. as well as Thomas and Mattias joining Dungen.

Despite their relatively short time as a band that lasted all of 5 years, with one full length album, two ep’s, and various singles, Änglagård and arguably left at least one unique and lasting impression on the history of progressive rock in Sweden and the world over. Whilst the group may once have been, by all accounts, a dispiriting conflict between creative insight and business plans - for the prog-fan, Änglagård will forever remain a firm favourite in the genre.

To this day, two decades on, Änglagård’s influence can be felt through the diverse music –from prog, post-rock, krautrock, to math-rock – being created both in Sweden and abroad. For anyone who wants to get a taste of how progressive music that draws from a mix of genres should be experienced, look no further than the work of Swedish progressive rockers Änglagård.

In the end, with their incredible blend of styles, haunting melodies and complex structures, Änglagård have secured their place in the pantheon of the most important and influential progressive rock bands.